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The Perfect Retirement Gift Ideas For 2021

11 min read
Last Updated on 13 August, 2021
The Perfect Retirement Gift Ideas For 2021

Retirement is a major milestone in an employee's life. It marks the end of a lifetime of service which ought to be celebrated. Ideally, people close this chapter of life with a fun party with their friends, family, and peers. While such a celebration might not be possible these days, you can ensure that they receive the perfect retirement gift!

If you're looking for a unique gift idea for an employee, boss, or co-worker, then you've come to the right place.

But before we get to the ideas, let's have a look at some tips to keep in mind while choosing the perfect retirement gift.

Useful Tips For Deciding Retirement Gifts

1. Personalize It

Everyone has their own plans for when they retire. Some want to pursue their long-lost hobbies, some want to travel. Some wish to learn a new skill or play a musical instrument. Others resolve to become physically fit.

The key to a great retirement gift is taking their passion and personalizing it by putting your own creative spin on it. Add a hand-written note to go with the present. Refrain from using standardized emails. Try to highlight their contributions and achievements over the years of service.

Personalization creates meaning and honors a relationship. A personal touch transforms a regular retirement gift into something truly memorable.

2. Evolve With Changing Times

People's expectations of retirement are myriad and keep on changing. Some reach financial independence in their early 50s and then retire. Others want to work for a longer time.

The ideas of retirement gifts need to evolve with the changing times. The list of ideas that worked fine in the past might not work in the coming time.

Moreover, these trends are now influenced by the rise of virtual work. In 2021, we need virtual gifting ideas that are just as meaningful as celebrating in person. Since we're amid a global pandemic, wellness-related gifts are highly beneficial.

3. Make It Exciting

Indeed, a gift is almost always well-intentioned. Going back down memory lane and showcasing the worth of their experiences can be really meaningful. However, retirement gifts should not appear to be the end of the road.

Retirement is also a new beginning of an entirely new stage of life. Retirees have so many new things left to experience and contribute. It is an exciting time to look forward to.

So make your gift exciting too. It's best to consider those retirement gifts that honor the transition.

4. Make It Meaningful & Appropriate

While planning for a retirement gift, empathize with the emotions of the retiree. It may seem like a carefree and easy phase, but retirement can be stressful too. Many people struggle with identity loss or defining life's purpose.

The best retirement gifts are those which are meaningful and bring a sense of positivity.

You must commemorate a retirement appropriately. Keep it simple and practical, or add more sentimental value to it. But don't include any promotional content or turn the gift into a marketing piece.

So, here's summarizing the dos and don’ts of retirement gifting:

Do's Don'ts
Personalize It Avoid Standardizing It
Evolve With Changing Times Don’t Be Afraid To Get Creative
Make It Exciting Don’t Make It Like The End Of The Road
Make It Meaningful And Appropriate Don't Include Any Promotions

19 Perfect Ideas For Retirement Gifts

19-Ideas-For-Retirement-Gifts-1

This comprehensive gift guide covers unique retirement gift ideas— from sentimental and practical to fancy and funny retirement gifts. Check them out and see which fits your gifting intention the best.

1. Personalized Retirement Gifts

The more personalized your gifts are, the happier the receiver will be.

  • Have their names engraved on a gift like notebooks, coffee mugs, t-shirts, watches.
  • Add a ‘happy retirement’, a funny retirement quote, or gag they can relate to on t-shirts or coffee mugs.

A great idea to further customize a gift is to cater to their hobbies and interests. For example, sports accessories, electronics, gardening gear, make-up kits, or travel kits.

Learn more: The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Gift Ideas for Employees In 2021

2. Travel-Related Gifts

travel gifts

Image courtesy: Unsplash

One of the best retirement gift ideas is to give experiences. An experience filled with excitement can bring immense joy to the receiver. Retirees can begin their new phase on a positive and exciting note. They'll also get new memories to cherish.

Fuel their wanderlust with a weekend getaway, a luxury stay in a hotel, or a holiday to a faraway destination. You can also get them some special dinner coupons, catered lunches, spa retreats, and more.

Some other travel items that you can gift are:

  • Neck Pillow
  • Travel Bags
  • Hammocks
  • Luggage Tags
  • Coupons to Spa Retreats
  • Personalized Travel Folder
  • Power Banks
  • Trekking equipment for those who love adventure
  • Beach supplies, such as shades, wide-brimmed hats, t-shirts, shorts, and lots of sunscreens.

3. Gift Of Health & Wellness

wellness gifts

Image courtesy: Pixabay

When an employee retires, they become free from work-related stress. They have more time available to focus on self-care.

Moreover, retirement itself can be quite stressful for some people. There may be a sense of loss of purpose after having a regular routine for years. People start dealing with physiological issues like heart problems and diabetes. Studies by WHO talk about higher chances of anxiety and depression in older aged persons.

Gift them something that will help them live a healthy and fit lifestyle. It can help them alleviate stress, relax, and be physically active. This will not only be meaningful but practical as well.

Some thoughtful gifts could be:

  • Yoga mat
  • A massager
  • Self-care package consisting of lotions, soaps, bath bombs.
  • A visit to a relaxing spa treatment
  • Gym or yoga club membership
  • Subscription to meditative and wellness apps
  • Exercise equipment
  • Fitness tracking equipment
  • Running shoes
  • Fun puzzle games to keep the mind active

Learn more: A Complete Guide To Corporate Wellness Program

4. Books & Subscription To E-Magazines

books as retirement gifts

Image courtesy: Pixabay

Books or subscriptions to magazines are the best gifts for avid readers. In fact, retirement is the perfect time to catch up on all the books one missed out on during their busy schedules. So help them fill up their bookshelves or their digital library with a nice book or e-book.

5. Online Courses

online-course-retirement-gift

Image courtesy: Unsplash

Work keeps the mind engaged. It is vital to keep the mind busy after retirement to improve cognition. Learning new things can be beneficial in this situation. It stimulates the mind and creates a sense of purpose.

Think about giving your retiring friends a chance to learn a new language, a new skill, or a new technology. From cooking and music to yoga retreats, there are many courses available that can prove to be great gifts.

Learn more: Why The Habit Of Continuous Learning Is Important

6. Gifts For The Cooking Enthusiasts

cookbooks as gifts

Image courtesy: Unsplash

For those retirees who like experimenting in the kitchen, you can try out these awesome ideas. Trust me, they'll really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

  • A cookbook of interesting recipes
  • Books about world cuisines, spices, or exotic ingredients
  • Free admission to baking or a cooking class
  • Coupons to their favorite restaurants

7. Gifts For The Artists

art supplies retirement gift

Image courtesy: Unsplash

For those with an artistic flair, art-related supplies can be meaningful. Some gifting ideas for retirees who like art include:

  • Oil Color Introductory Sets
  • Synthetic Coloring Brushes
  • Adult Coloring Books
  • Subscription To Painting Courses
  • Digital Art Tutorial Courses

Art broadens the imagination and reduces stress. The above gifts can encourage retirees to tap into their creative sides. They may even use social media to promote their art.

8. Gifts For The Sporty Ones

Tennis Rackets As Gifts

Image courtesy: Pixabay

Some of the best retirement gifts are sports-related. Sports keep us fit and are fun, both of which are essential as we mature. Bring out the die-hard sports fan in them by gifting something related to their favorite sports team or player.

Here are some ideas:

  • Sports equipment, like a tennis racket, golf clubs
  • A specialized fishing pole
  • Apparels like baseball caps, sport jerseys
  • Tickets to a sporting event

If they're more of an indoor games person, get them a cool deck of cards. Games like chess, monopoly, Chinese checkers, scrabble, or taboo is exciting too.

Personally, I think we never really outgrow these games. Spending time with family and loved ones playing these games can be absolutely fun and joyful. They also help in building cognition, attention and reduces stress.

9. Gifts For Those Interested In Music

musical instruments as gifts

Image courtesy: Pixabay

A music-lover will love a gift that acknowledges their passion for music. It will be pure bliss for them if they get a musical instrument of choice as a gift.

  • Ukuleles, harmonicas, or flutes are exciting gifts. They are great for anyone open to learning a new skill too.

  • You could also take them out to dinner at the club where their favorite band performs, or give them concert tickets!

10. Plants & Gardening Gifts

succulents as retirement gifts

Image courtesy: Pixabay

Bonsai trees can be the perfect retirement gift. They are eco-friendly, beautiful, refreshing, and are a good addition to any indoor garden. For those retirees who are passionately into gardening, lift their moods up with plant saplings or new garden tools.

11. Eco-Friendly Gifts

Spread the message of sustainability and recycling by giving eco-friendly gifts. Your environment-conscious employees are going to love it!

Some excellent eco-friendly gift choices are:

  • Handmade craft items
  • Tote bags
  • Stainless steel water bottles
  • Thermal coffee mugs
  • Post-consumer waste notebooks
  • Bonsai trees and succulents

12. Traditional Retirement Gifts

If you don't know the retirees too well but want to celebrate their retirement somehow, you can go the traditional way.

  • A bouquet of flowers
  • A nice perfume or some beautifully scented candles
  • Gourmet food
  • Home decor and decorative showpieces

Even for virtual occasions, there are services that can deliver these gifts.

All these are some excellent classic gift choices. Accompany them with a nice personalized message about the value they brought to the company.

13. Subscription To OTT Platforms

Subscription To OTT Platforms

Over-the-top platforms provide a wide range of choices for movie buffs. Give your employees or retiring co-workers a free subscription to an OTT platform. They can enjoy their favorite movies, documentaries, and web series from the comforts of their homes. It can be quite useful in times when the entire world is stuck indoors.

14. Watches

watches gift

Image courtesy: Unsplash

The golden watch is the quintessential retirement gift. The concept behind it was ‘you gave us your time, and now we give you ours’. This was relevant when an employee worked for the same company till their retirement.

Now times have changed. People are more into job-hopping. But still, a classic watch can never go wrong. They can have emotional value or be worn in style.

If you know that the retiree loves to wear watches, then go with this traditional retirement gift. You can even get it engraved to personalize it or give it an upgrade with a smartwatch or a fitness tracker.

15. Everything Food & Wine

chocolates retirement gifts

Image courtesy: Unsplash

If you ask me, food is one of the best, if not the best, ways to celebrate any occasion. After all, you can never go wrong with chocolates.

  • A gift box filled with different chocolates or dried fruits is a great gifting option.
  • Set up a fantastic basket by mixing up sweets and savory.
  • Include a bottle of wine in your gift basket.

If not wine, then wine glasses are something that they would undoubtedly enjoy. Another way to help retirees celebrate is with food coupons they can use at any restaurant. This method of gifting is cost-effective and adds flexibility to your gifting options.

16. Electronics

headphones as gifts

Image courtesy: Unsplash

As the world becomes more digital, tech gifts have become a big favorite and are sure to get the retiree excited.

Some good options for electronics gifts are:

  • High-quality headphones
  • Portable Bluetooth speakers
  • E-readers like Kindle
  • Smartwatches, fitness trackers
  • Modern kitchen gadgets like coffee machines, hand blenders, air fryers, or a toaster.

Supplement these gifts with a tutorial course for those who are not accustomed to technology.

17. Comfort Wear

Now that the retirees can finally get out of their formal suits, help them relax with some comfy loungewear. Sweatpants, beachwear, slippers, fun socks can be some unique yet delightful retirement gifts. Another gift idea can be to give them cute cushions, comforters, blankets, neck pillows, or bean bags for their comfort.

18. Stationery

If you are looking for a thoughtful gift on a minimal budget, personalized stationery is a great gift idea. Notebooks, organizers, Pierre Cardin pens may seem to be old school. But they rarely go wrong. Personalize them with engraved initials or simply a written note to make the occasion extra special.

19. Gifts Celebrating Their Value & Accomplishments

Retirement is a proud moment. After decades of hard work and dedication, they’d like to be cherished. So give a heartfelt thank-you by taking them on a nostalgia trip.

  • Create a nice slideshow or a photo book to reminisce about their best moments.
  • A tribute video from their peers
  • Have them record a training video where they share tips & tricks for new hires. This way, their legacy will continue for years to come.
  • A replica or a souvenir of a project they worked on
  • A jar of farewell messages
  • Their favorite tool they regularly used
  • A plaque or a trophy to highlight their years of service

A point to note here: most of the gift ideas outlined here are gender-neutral. You can easily give them to a man, woman, or a person of any other gender.

Learn more: The Ultimate Guide To Employee Rewards and Recognition

Retirement Gift Ideas For Remote/Virtual Workers

Retirement-Gift-Ideas-For-Remote-Virtual-Workers

Going by the current situation, it’s clear that remote work is here to stay. There are high chances that some of your employees, co-workers, or bosses might retire while they are working from home. To cheer them up as they start their new phase of life, have some exciting gifts sent electronically or delivered to their doorsteps.

Here are some ideas:

  • A box full of goodies, like coffee or beer mugs, pens, chocolates, and cookies
  • A personalized note, an email, or a social media shout-out
  • Tribute video
  • Redeemable gift cards, so they get anything of their choice.
  • E-books, subscriptions of e-magazines, OTT platforms
  • An exciting online course
  • Bouquet of flowers
  • Personalized hoodies, t-shirts
  • Things of their interest like make-up essentials, gardening tools, etc.

And while you may not be able to throw them a real party, you can also go ahead with a fun virtual retirement party.

So…

Which of these ideas did you like the most? Do you have any other exciting retirement gift ideas for your retiring coworker, boss, friend, or family member? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.

This article is written by Swati Baruah who is a content marketing specialist at Vantage Circle. She is a post-graduate in Labor Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Passionately interested in HR and people dynamics, she enjoys writing pieces that strike conversations. To get in touch, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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